From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
On Capitol Hill, an effort to limit the authority of the National Security Agency has fallen short. It was the first chance for House lawmakers to vote on the government's phone surveillance program since news of it was leaked by Edward Snowden. They rejected an amendment that the White House and top intelligence officials had lobbied hard against.
NPR's Tamara Keith joins us from Capitol Hill. And, Tamara, the amendment was defeated. How close was it?
Many businesses that don't offer health insurance to all their employees breathed a sigh of relief earlier this month when they learned they'd have an extra year to comply with the new health care law or face stiff penalties.
Biologists normally look for the hellbender slamander, which is known by the nickname "snot otter," under rocks in streams. But now there's a gentler way: They can take water samples and look for traces of the animals' DNA.
If you want to protect rare species, first you have to find them. In the past few years, biologists have developed a powerful new tool to do that. They've discovered that they can often find traces of animal DNA in streams, ponds — even oceans.
The idea took root just five years ago, when biologists in France found they could detect invasive American bullfrogs simply by sampling pond water and looking for an exact genetic match to the frogs' DNA.
Homer Bell was 54 years old when he killed himself in April in a very public way — he laid down his head in front of a stopped bus in his hometown of Hartford, Conn. It was the last act in a life filled with struggle, as Bell and his family endured his schizophrenia.
At a time when there are calls to strengthen the mental health system, Bell's story shows how hard coping with mental illness can be.